Holidays are ideal reminders. They merge together family, breathe life into traditions, and provide memories with a starting line. The spirit of the Holidays is vibrant and uplifting, you can feel it in the depths of your bones. Who doesn't want to extend the life of this feeling? I certainly did. And, to accomplish this, I enlisted your help.
About a week or so ago, I reached out to family and friends, colleagues and blogger connections, and asked a classic, some might even say cliché, question. "What are you thankful in your life right now, in this moment?" The responses were powerful. They were simple and reflective. They were clever and enlightening. They were funny. They were and are the greatest reminders. As I read, I wrote; each quote hand written on leftover card stock from our wedding. I wrote and absorbed all seventy responses. It was joyous therapy. These notes were then gently placed in a mason jar. This glass hub, whose new home is our wooden breakfast bar, will serve as a vehicle of thankfulness over the next year. Whenever I need a bolt of energy, a lesson in being grateful, or just a smile, that jar will be the first pit stop.
Take Monday for instance, I was thrown off by a household mishap. Oh the joys of home-owning. Life happens, right? However, I could not shake this curve ball thrown my way. It was the first day after football season; the first day Ben and I had off together since the beginning of August. I felt unsettled that our perfectly planned day did not go so perfect. Moments like this are the reason I recorded your responses. The reminder I pulled out was from my sister. This one sentence produced a smile and just the right amount of calmness. You will read it below along with all the other reminders. I recommend grabbing a cup of warm coffee or a delicious cocktail, putting your feet up, and appreciate life's joys shared below. We have many to share.
"I am thankful for my three beautiful grandchildren and their parents" ~ Laurie
"I’m thankful that I have access to healthy food. I’ve gotten really into health and fitness this past year and couldn’t have made such improvements in my life without the variety of grocery stores and farmers markets around me. Plus, the ability to look up healthy recipes and educate myself on nutrition." - Tori of Wear Wag Repeat
"bath and body works holiday candles, the power to dream, and incredible family" ~ Cara
"I am thankful for a group of women that are of similar age and interests that simulate my intellect" ~ Priscilla
"I am grateful for the freedom to reclaim my power by utilizing my gifts and igniting my passion. By doing these small things I am able to live my truest life and arrive at my best potential." ~ Leslie of juju Vintage Boutique
"loved ones and walks on the beach" ~ Mama Linda
"I am thankful for my three beautiful sons. They make me laugh EVERY single day. They make me want to be a better mom and wife. I am so happy to be able to see them grow up and watch them learn new things every day." ~ Amy
"I'm thankful for our talk two years ago that lead to us making these worthwhile leaps of faith in our careers and thankful for the Internet for allowing friends to stay connected while states away." ~ Grim
"Warm November days" ~ Greta
"Chilly mornings like today paired with crème brûlée coffee, my niece's smiles and warm cuddles" ~ Jenna of Balance and Chaos
"I am thankful I work from home (with a fabulous coffee maker) on this rainy cold day." ~ Kristi
"Thankful for the foolish decisions I made a decade ago... right around this time of the year... that led me to move in with a stranger, who became my husband and home. From that, and rather unexpectedly last year, came my little NoJoWo - best little guy ever. I'm so thankful for the love I have in my life and the family I am going home to today. And thankful that silly, sudden decisions, that I'm free to make and have made, turned into the best things I have ever done." ~ Kelly
"Today I am thankful for morning cuddles with my pup and the scent of morning air after a night of rain." ~ Gina of To The Streets
"At this very moment, I am so thankful for the blessing of awakening to a new day and the opportunity to make it better than yesterday. I mess up a lot... and the chance to start all over and exchange my wrongs for rights is so comforting." Katrina of Always & Forever Photography
"My healthy, beautiful, loving, preggo wife and growing baby who will definitely love mac n cheese." ~ Ryan
"I am grateful for the struggles we are going through... They remind me to be grateful for what we still have." ~ Shana
"coffee, finally being able to start a 401k, my family, puppies (even those that aren't mine), girlfriends, good beer, baggie jeans and booties." ~ Jamie
"Right now I am very thankful to be breathing fresh ocean air and freedom." ~ Quattrini
"Today (and always) I am thankful for music, and its ability to evoke emotion and nostalgia." ~ Ashley of Ashley Pierce
"The afternoon sunshine, after a rainy morning" ~ Tyler
"I am thankful for a mishmash of things... supportive family and friends, creative #girlbosses ,my hilarious 2 year-old daughter, Oreo's and gold glitter of course." ~ Kathryn owner of Rosewood
"I'm thankful that I decided to sit in on job interviews when I had the chance to skip it.... it led me to meeting Sheena!" ~ Justin
"I am thankful for free brunch in the office this morning!" ~ Laura
"I’m grateful for Spotify and the music boost it gives me to get motivated for work in the morning. And my kitten on my lap to keep me company!" ~ Lydia of Lydia Jane Photography
"I just warmed up some yummy homemade vegetable beef soup on a wet chilly dreary day for which I am thankful." ~ Stacey
"I am attending a funeral tonight for a University colleague's 15 yr old son and I am feeling extra thankful for the health and lives of the 2 wild animals I call my own..." ~ Stacey
"I like the 'in the moment' thankfulness. So, mine today, would be I have a large cappuccino in my hand, my boss is in a meeting all afternoon, and my polka dotted rain boots are coming in handy today, oh, and a spectacular sunrise today. I call all of these little moments, God's PC (personal care)." ~ my Aunt Darla
"I'm thankful for the roles of wife and mommy and for sideways head baby smiles. And I was just thinking today, how thankful I am for my village that got me through the first year of parenthood." ~ Tara
"I'm thankful for the extra sunshine this month!" ~ Mac
"I'm thankful for night classes so I can sleep in on a Wednesday. I'm thankful for my warm bed on rainy mornings. And I'm thankful for my mom and dad." ~ Taylor
"I am thankful for the plump black pug that is sitting on my lap right now keeping me warm and the melodic snores she is letting out as she sleeps!!" ~ Delia
"I'm thankful for my beautiful, courageous, and kind wife.....also alcohol." ~ Ben
"the happy hour I am headed to right now!" ~ Mindy
"Right now, I am thankful for the mess that my house is because I know it was created by two kiddies, who are now peacefully sleeping upstairs, having fun and making memories today!" ~ Kelli
"I have a few things (feeling a bit reflective as I come up on the end of an adventure and the beginning of a new one!): I'm thankful that I get to see my husband every day starting in 10 days and for his incredible love and support while I've been away. I am thankful for the kindness of strangers -- for the hundreds of people over the last year plus who have shared their hearts, homes, kitchens, pocketbooks, knowledge, experience, time and energies with me. The accumulation of these kindnesses was a truly unforgettable journey." ~ Emily
"KINDNESS & KITTENS-- both make the world a better place!" ~ Bethy
"Coming home and taking my shoes and pants off!" ~ Jenn
"Strong support system and the chance to live and learn" ~ Becky
"My family and the pending new addition to it!" ~ Dave // Welcome to the world, McKenna!
"I'm thankful for my family, friends and most importantly, the 15 pounds I've lost so I can enjoy multiple occurrences of my favorite meal.....thanksgiving dinner!" ~ Derek
"I am thankful for the beauty around me each day...grateful for the fresh spirit each season brings, inspired by the simple kind gestures made by strangers, amazed by the vibrant colors of sun down and the excitement of the unknown ahead that each sun up brings...grateful that I have the ability to see and hear all the beauty with my own eyes. Great reminder to take 5 minutes each day to take a look around and admire the world around me and all its gifts." ~ Katie
"Feelin' good. Lovin' Life" ~ Aunt Julie
"I am thankful for the spontaneity myself and my friends took last night. It makes me smile thinking about how we turned a random Thursday night into a killer party...especially at our age." ~ Annie of Annie Frances Style Consulting
"Sometimes work gets in the way of life...Being able to stay home with my girls." ~ Johanna
"I am thankful for new life" ~ Heather
Yes. A year and a half after leaving the corporate life has taken its toll. I did the dreaded CC instead of BCC when I sent out my initial email. I am thankful no one committed this awkward task at all.
"No-Shave November!" ~ Spayd
"I am thankful for my coworkers. They make a workplace without windows be not a gloomy dungeon but a lively, comforting workplace with appropriate times of laughter and good conversation (all done while performing our job duties, of course)!" ~ Dana
"I am thankful for two working hands that create delicious works of art aka pizzas, to feed the starving people of central Pa." ~ Steph
"My sister's laugh" ~ Kelly P.
"Electricity! Crazy winds knocked my power out for 10+ hours yesterday and the only things keeping me sane were about a half-dozen pumpkin scented candles." ~ Angela
"Wonderful friends to travel with." ~ Jill
"I’m thankful for my health, family and friends. And especially being a child of God!" ~ Aunt Trudy
"I am thankful for my family and friends (especially my nieces that came during the hardest part of my 28 years of existence). I wake up every single day thankful to have the people that I do in my life, they are my rock and it's never taken for granted." ~ Steph
"COFFEE!" ~ Abbie
"I'd say I'm grateful for love - all kinds of love: family, fiancé, and girl tribe love, the Health of those I'm closest to, Travel & all of its bliss, Vodka & the memories it does and does not allow me to make and pancakes - all kinds of pancakes." ~ Jilly
"I'm thankful for the chance to be back in the gym coaching and sharing my love for basketball with a group of dedicated high school girls." ~ Jess M.
The happiest of Thanksgivings to you all!